By Sarjo Camara-Singateh
Serekunda General Hospital has received surgeons through the sponsorship of Munazamat Al Dawa Al Islamia and Dr. Jah’s Sharab Clinic who would be offering free surgical operations for vesco vaginal fistula to patients.
This was revealed at a launching ceremony held yesterday, 1 February, 2016 at the hospital premises.
Mrs. Saffie Lowe Ceesay, the permanent secretary ministry of health and social welfare, said as a government they are responsible for providing quality health care for the citizens and non citizens alike but that government alone cannot do it all, adding that this is the reason why they have the development partners to complement their efforts.
She said the surgeons offering the free operations are from Saudi Arabia, Sudan and the Gambia. “They have planned to operate 100 patients mainly fistula cases and other surgical conditions such as hernia, hydrocele, prostrate etc in one week. So far, since their arrival on Thursday they have started operating on Friday and have operated 46 patients, both females and males, adults and children,” she said.
Mrs. Lowe Ceesay also said that a group from Holland had made two visits earlier and conducted 100 surgical operations such as thyroids, hernias, lipomas, release of contractures, etc as well as successfully conducting more than 400 wound care procedures.
She thanked the Sheikh Zaid Regional Eye Care Centre and the National Eye Health Programme manager for assisting the Serekunda General Hospital with two operating theatres and other logistical support.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Jah, the Director of Sharab Clinic, said the programme was initiated two years ago but that because of Ebola outbreak the mission could not come.
He said vesco viginal fistula is a problem that affects women and some of the women who have this condition smell or have bad odour due to the fact that they lick urine or feaces. He said obstetric care prevents many women from having vesco vaginal fistula. He said CS should not only be available in Serekunda alone but to all the health facilities in the country. He said currently there is only one specialized vesco vaginal fistula surgeon in the country.
Mr. Saidou Beyai, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Serekunda General Hospital, who also doubles as the chair of the event, revealed the following statistics which indicate that from the January to December 2015 the hospital has 16,191accident and emergency cases; 23,171 cases seen at the outpatient department; 1,323 cases at the surgical ward; 1,568 at the medical ward; 1,649 at the paediatric ward; 2,171 at the gynae clinic; 2,325 at the maternity ward; 3,618 total deliveries and 512 cesarean section (SC) cases.
Mr. Beyai said the number of patients seen and treated at their hospital is 52,016.
He also commended the Munazamat Al Dawa Al Islamia for supporting the hospital through Dr. Abubacarr Jah.
A representative from Physicians Across Continent (PAC), Professor Elbagir Elfari, said since they started the operations more than 40 people have been operated. He said it is out of humanity that they have intended to serve these people who needed operations in different forms. He siad poverty, distance and lack of immediate obstetric care during delivery to assist a woman in labour can lead to vesco vaginal fistula.
Mr. Kebba L. Jagne, the principal of Sheikh Mandan for Girls, thanked the visiting surgeons.
The chairperson of the Hollande Doctors, Mrs. Carla Klen Breteler said their intention is to boost the capacity of the hospital, adding that their coming is a win win situation, as they will all be learning from each other.
Two former patients who have been cured from repaired vesco vaginal fistula expressed their gratitude to the hospital and the team of doctors.